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VANCOUVER — Vernon Adams Jr. and Keon Hatcher connected for 170 yards and a score as the BC Lions took down the Calgary Stampeders 37-9 at home on Friday.
The veteran pivot returned to the lineup for the first time since an injury suffered in Week 8 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and immediately jump-started an offence that struggled last week by scoring four touchdowns against the Stampeders.
A big reason for the offensive success was his connection with Hatcher. The duo connected nine times – including a 46-yard catch – as BC’s passing offence fired on all cylinders all evening.
Adams Jr. knows the importance of having a talented receiver like No. 4 on his side as he’s returning from injury.
“I’m excited to be back,” said the veteran after the game. “Have a guy like him, especially when (veteran receiver Dominique) Rhymes is down. Someone else has to step up. He did a great job tonight, all the guys did a great job.”
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Adams Jr. completed 23-of-32 passes for 322 yards, four majors and an interception. Veterans Alexander Hollins, Taquan Mizzell and Lucky Whitehead also caught touchdown passes from their quarterback as BC continues to display a deep group of skill-position players.
Calgary was coming off a performance where they held the previously-undefeated Toronto Argonauts to 202 yards of net offence and seven points before BC put up 343 yards and 37 points, including 17 points in the first three offensive drives.
“You have to start fast and finish strong against a Calgary-type team. You can’t make too many mistakes against them. I think we did a great job on all three phases, moving the ball, getting stops and scoring points.”
Hatcher’s 170 receiving yards were a career high and showcased just how deep this group of receivers is for the Lions. Hollins added 80 yards and the score as the team continues to find success through the air even without Rhymes.
All that talent at the position has players battling it out and honing their skills together to continue dominating opponents every week.
“It’s a friendly competition and we all thrive off of it,” said Hatcher after the game. “It’s great to have that competition in the room and we don’t expect anything less than big things for ourselves.”
The Lions complete a five-game gauntlet against West Division opponents next week as they travel to Regina to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday, Aug. 20.